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8th Air Force 284

29 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of two separate elements. The first element is a combined force of 238 B-17s of 1st Air Division: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG and 457BG are despatched to bomb the industrial areas of Brunswick, Unterluss and Stedorf, Germany. 193 are effective on Brunswick, Germany; 20 are effective on Unterluss, Germany; 18 are effective on Stedorf, Germany and 2 others bomb Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 305BG/422BS also drops 4,060,000 leaflets. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 27KIA 63POW. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing upon return - 10RTD. 66 aircraft are damaged. 2 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 5 others are WIA. The bomber gunners claim 8-3-6 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

The second element is composed of a combined force of 77 B-24s from: 93BG; 446BG and 448BG despatched to bomb the V-Weapon site at Watten, France. Only 30 aircraft are effective on the target due to PFF failures. No aircraft are lost but 2 are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a mid-air collision during assembly over Halesworth, UK - 16KIA 3BO/RTD. 6 aircraft are damaged. 2 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 1 other is WIA. There no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from the 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 4.08
Number of aircraft Sent 2
Number of aircraft Effective 2

2. Brunswick, Germany

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Groups participating are all of 1st Bomb Division. Bombers also dropped 4,060,000 leaflets.

457th BG MISSION NO. 22 - WAGGUM, GERMANY

29 MARCH 1944

Eighteen aircraft were dispatched to attack the fighter and bomber Aircraft Assembly Factory of the Muhlenbau Industries at Waggum four miles north of Brunswick. The factory produced Me-109s. Major George C. Hozier was Air Commander and Lt. Bender was pilot. The Group comprised the low box of the 94th Combat Wing.

Due to heavy clouds, bombing was done by PFF on the secondary target, Brunswick. Bombing results were not observed.

Heavy enemy fighter attacks were made on the formation. Flak was moderate but accurate. Battle damage was heavy. Lt. Lewis W. Lennartson, who had successfully ditched Mission No. 13, already lagging behind the formation, was attacked by two Me-109s. With one engine on fire and one feathered, the crew was forced to bail out over Germany. Lt. Lennarton stayed with the plane, keeping it level in order that the crew could bail out. The craft exploded before he could bail out. The ball turret gunner, Sgt. Omer Fontaine, was also killed in action. Three of the crew were injured. Enemy fighter attacks on the first two Wings had been heavy, forty to fifty strong. The attack on the 457th was made by ten fighters.

Near Dummer Lake, an enemy operated B-17 was observed flying between the 457th and the wing ahead.

Bad weather gave the Group a respite for the remainder of the month. The Group had experienced what would be one of its busiest months of operation, eighteen missions over a twenty eight day period.

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 393.72
Number of aircraft Sent 196
Number of aircraft Effective 193
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 9
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 66
Number of people Killed In Action 29
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 63
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

3. SEEDORF (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 36.72
Number of aircraft Sent 18
Number of aircraft Effective 18

4. UNTERLUSS (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 40.80
Number of aircraft Sent 20
Number of aircraft Effective 20

5. Watten, France

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Pathfinder (PFF) failures frustrate the attack.

Units

  • 446th Bomb Group

    446th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...

  • 448th Bomb Group

    448th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 448th Bomb Group was a B-24 Liberator Group that flew out of Seething, Norfolk. The Group flew their first mission on the 22nd December 1943 and over the next eighteen months the air crews flew 262 missions over occupied Europe. These bombing...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 115.00
Number of aircraft Sent 77
Number of aircraft Effective 30
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 6
Number of people Killed In Action 16
Number of people Returned To Duty 3

Service

People

  • Bert Bessellieu

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Togglier/Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    B-17G 42-31202 turned back at mid-channel on an operational mission on 29 Mar 1944 and the a/c ran off the runway upon landing. All crew safe and returned to duty.

  • Frank Deuerling

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew on 'Priority Girl' 42-97305 on June 18, 1944.

  • Clarence Flinn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    29 missions, December 1943 - May 1944 DFC/ Air Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Wardlaw Hammond

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    B-17 PILOT. 31 COMBAT MISSIONS IN EUROPE INCLUDING NORMANDY. B-17G #42-31202 turned back at mid-channel on an operational mission on 29 Mar 1944 and the a/c ran off the runway upon landing. RTD. ...

  • John Mernagh

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner; Top Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Flew 50 missions from 22 December 1943 to 1 February 1945. Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal w/ 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation.

  • Thomas Plese

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 448th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Bauscheim in B-24 #4250897. All who knew him called him 'Tommy'.Started out in the 448th Bomb Group and after Pathfinder training went to the 489th. Was leading a 20th Wing Mission when killed by direct flak burst on 9...

  • Henry Putek

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    November 1943 - June 1944. Pilot, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66....

  • Clarence Schuchmann

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 457th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 750BS, 457BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x missions. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • George Snodgrass

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    George Snodgrass was waist gunner on B-17G #42-31202 which turned back at mid-channel on an operational mission on 29 Mar 1944. On return to base at Deenethorpe, the aircraft ran off the runway upon landing. All crew safe and returned to duty.

  • Andrew Tolmachoff

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Andrew Tolmachoff was the youngest of eleven children born to Russian immigrant parents. After graduating from high school he had aspirations to be a major league baseball pitcher but the bombing of Pearl Harbor ended that dream. After enlisting...

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Aircraft

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; ...

  • 42-31202

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/10/43; Gr Island 31/3/43; Wilmington 9/11/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-D] Deenethorpe 12/12/43; t/o for mission as spare but turned back, severely damaged as repairs were being undertaken on base, 29/3/44 with Walter B. Keith, Co...

  • 42-31558

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 21/11/43; Kearney 14/12/43; Chicago 18/12/43; Syracuse 19/12/43; Presque Is 21/12/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-M] Thurleigh 21/1/44; Missing in Action Erding 24/4/44 with Gil VandermarliereWounded in Action, Co-pilot: Bill James,...

  • 42-37953

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 26/10/43; Gr Island 9/11/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-L] Thurleigh 4/1/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 29/3/44 with Alvin Schuering, Co-pilot: Harvey Nielsen, Navigator: Jack Hamilton, Bombardier: Rob Flood, Flight engineer/top turret...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2016 19:52:44 Rainer Changes to description and aircraft associations
Sources

Corrected typos

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2016 18:09:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Mar-2016. Added 2nd Air Division element to Mission Narrative based on the "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2016 17:33:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Mar-2016. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft based on the "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2016 17:30:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Mar-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on the "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:27:46 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA22.HTML

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:12 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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